29 June 2022

Volkswagen Multivan PHEV 2022 car review

The Multivan is full of possibilities with its range assurance when tackling long journeys or reducing your carbon footprint for the everyday school run.

multivan intext1
Volkswagen Multivan PHEV 2022
multivan intext2
Volkswagen Multivan PHEV 2022
multivan intext3
Volkswagen Multivan PHEV 2022
multivan intext4
Volkswagen Multivan PHEV 2022
multivan intext5
Volkswagen Multivan PHEV 2022
multivan intext6
Volkswagen Multivan PHEV 2022

MODELS: Family and Energetic
PRICE RANGE: Family $78,800 + ORC (Family, qualifies for $5,750 Clean Car Discount) Energetic $106,600 + ORC
ENGINE: 1.4-litre turbo-petrol four with 13kWh plug-in battery
POWER: 160kW/350Nm
GEARBOX: Six-speed automated dual clutch, FWD
ECONOMY: 1.0L/100km, CO2 37g/km, EV range 50km
STATUS: Currently available

After attending the launch event for Volkswagen’s all-new Multivan PHEV in Auckland last month, we were delighted to get the opportunity to sample one for a few days. There is nothing quite like taking a few days to test a new vehicle’s true capability in normal everyday situations.

For many Aucklanders, that means long slow commutes on the motorway or navigating in and out of tight parking buildings. For the latter, a small vehicle is always preferable. But for many that might mean owning the small vehicle for daily city driving, and owning a larger vehicle for the family commute – think weekend football, rugby, cricket, gear, children, dog/s etc.

If you are lucky enough to have both options in your driveway, then there is most definitely a place for the new Volkswagen Multivan PHEV. Not only because it’s the German brand we associate with the iconic Kombi, and the popular hatchbacks – Polo and Golf, known for being reliable enough to pass down the generations. But also, because there is nothing else quite like it in the market right now, it’s quite unique in multiple ways.

Why it’s not a van

You may be forgiven for questioning whether this is just another Volkswagen van with a bit of interior bling to make it comfortable for passengers. For starters it may look a bit like a van on the outside (2.2 tonnes, nearly five metres long and 1.9m high), but it has been through a van renaissance, transitioning to a more civilised way of transporting up to seven people in a spacious MPV environment.

Unlike vans before it, the move from the T6.1 generation to the new T7 means it gets the MQB platform, which is loosely based on the Golf. This allows the new Multivan to share some of the family’s new technologies, making it much more like a car than van.

Volkswagen see the all-new Multivan as something a little different to other MPVs on the market, more of an alternative option - like a luxury coach.


There are two options available in the range. The entry-level option is called the Family at $78,800 + ORC, which qualifies for the Clean Car Discount. For an entry level the Family is well spec’d with a similar list of features to its older sibling, the Energetic, just a little less luxury and electric niceties.

We sampled the top-spec limited-edition Energetic model, which is slightly pricier at $106,000 + ORC, meaning although a fuel-efficient PHEV, it doesn’t qualify for the Clean Car Discount due to coming in over the $80k threshold.

The Energetic is certainly a head turner when out-and-about. Travelling to and from rugby on the weekend meant the occupants got to travel in style, plus we got to share something new to stare at by the usual footy crowd.

The Energetic sports the two-tone factory paintjob, a mix of retro and ‘look-at-me’. We liked it, and it certainly created a topic of conversation when parked near the rugby field side-line.


Thanks to the MQB platform, both models feature the same plug-in hybrid technology for the first time, and while the plug-in is the only option available in New Zealand, the diesel variant is planned for release here next year.

The hybrid powertrain is made up of a 110kW 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an 85kW electric motor, with a combined maximum output of 160kW and 350Nm.

The pure electric motor is powered by a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is good for a claimed all-electric range of around 50km, with a six-speed DSG dual clutch transmission sending the power to the front wheels.

During our time with the Multivan we found that we could get to work on one charge but would need to recharge to make it back home – we found battery range limited in real world driving (using radio and heater) to around 32kms.

The drive felt smooth and comfortable, and outside noise wasn’t noticeable at all. As a passenger the whole experience is quite luxurious, while lying back in the reclining seat and gazing up through the panoramic roof it’s easy to feel like you are being transported to somewhere in the future.

Luxury Coach

The driver’s seating position feels very high and almost at the height of the driver’s side window, which can make you feel rather exposed. Much like sitting up the front of a bus (luxury coach) where all the glass provides good all-round visibility but feels slightly like everyone is looking at you too.

The power opening and closing sliding doors with Easy Open, right and left, makes loading in and out passengers and all their gear a breeze. Although the step up does require a bit of effort, fortunately there is a nicely positioned easy grip handle attached to the ceiling to hoist passengers up into the cabin.

The AGR ErgoComfort seats (meaning very comfortable) kind of reminded us of being in an aircraft. With "ArtVelours" upholstery, the seats feature armrests, power adjustment and the driver’s seat gets the memory & massage feature. While arm rests are nice to have, they are on the slim side and could've been a bit wider for some added comfort.

The seating configuration is made up of two seats in the second row, and three seats in the third row. Handy drawers are included under the outer seats in the passenger compartment, and two waste bins. The sliding multi-function table is what creates that aircraft feeling, making it a perfect set-up for a long journey. With smooth driving conditions the tray can be used for eating, setting up the work laptop, or simply reading a book.

vwnasset 29822 mu002529pic WEB

Being able to change around the seating configuration is what’s special about the Multivan. The seats are easy to slide in and out and reconfigure to a social setting where passengers can face each other. This feature was great – once we had mastered it. While the process is easy, its best to do this before leaving the house, so you have somewhere to safely store away any seats taken out.

Sophisticated interior

From the moment you sit behind the leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel (complete with shift paddles) you feel surrounded by the latest in interior features you would expect from Volkswagen. It’s not like the German manufacturer has thought ‘it’s a MPV so we will give it less fancy stuff.’ Quite the opposite, this model really feels like a luxury car – and so it should for the price tag.

Standard multimedia includes a large 10.0" Touchscreen with wireless app-connect, mobile phone interface, 2X USB Type-C Ports in Dashboard & 4X USB-C ports in the rear, plus eight speakers and voice control.

For that added special touch we also appreciated the customisable 30-colour ambient lighting (door cards LED lighting matches instrument clusters lighting colour selection).


Not only extremely comfortable, the Multivan is also very safe. With the latest in the most advanced safety features, the T7 has just been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating. Included as standard is the Front Assist Area Monitoring System, which includes City Emergency Braking, Cruise Control and the Lane Assist system. 


If you are looking for something large to transport your precious cargo in comfort, with a touch of luxury, then the all-new Multivan PHEV is worth a look. Plus, it is currently the only MPV/Van PHEV option available in the local market right now.

There are only petrol or diesel options in the seven to eight-seater MPV/Van market here currently, which would include options like the Mercedes-Benz V-Class (+$100k), the Toyota Granvia and the Kia Carnival Premium – all eight-seaters.

The Multivan is something a little different to all of those – almost in a segment of its own. A quirky take on a large passenger transportation vehicle - requiring a large parking space. It’s got a splash of interior sophistication and exterior retro design.

If you are the type who wants to stand out a bit, then the Multivan is the seven-seater for you. Not to forget, it is also a vehicle that features technology to help reduce carbon emissions – which definitely gets a big green tick from us.


  • Hybrid/ EV mode
  • Seating for seven
  • Good visibility all round


  • Boot space very limited
  • Small engine for a big car

*All vehicles are tested according to WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles) technical procedures.

At a glance


Volkswagen Multivan Energetic PHEV 2022


1.4-litre turbo-petrol four with 13kWh plug-in battery 


Family $78,800 + ORC ($5,750 Clean Car Discount), Energetic $106,600 + ORC

ANCAP safety rating

5 star


160kW/350Nm (combined)


Six-speed automated dual clutch, FWD

Fuel economy/CO2

1.0L/100km, 37g/km



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity

469L seats up, 4,005L rear seats removed

Safety systems

  • Driver and front passenger airbags with front passenger airbag deactivation 
  • Side and curtain airbags for driver and front passenger, centre airbag in front and curtain airbags in passenger compartment
  • Forward Collision Warning Front Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking - Pedestrian & Cyclist Monitoring
  • Braking assist while turning for oncoming vehicle 
  • Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Brake Booster
  • Rear view camera system 
  • Park Distance Control in front and rear
  • Park Distance Control in front and rear, Park Assist 
  • Lane Assist - Lane Keeping System 
  • Side Assist - Blind Spot Monitor & Rear Cross-Traffic Alert 
  • Proactive Passenger Protection System 
  • Driver alert system 
  • Cruise Control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control 
  • Central locking system with Keyless Locking, Keyless Start, & SAFELOCK
  • Anti-theft alarm system with interior monitoring, towing protection 
  • Warning signal for unfastened seatbelts 
  • Child seat anchors ISOFIX in 2nd & 3rd row of seats 
  • First aid kit with warning triangle and safety vest 
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a new car:

Vehicle experts you can trust 

Previous review
Next review
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2022 car review
Read more
Citroen C3 Aircross 2022 car review
Read more